Movies

Focusing on developing pet projects: TS Nagabharana

The film and theatre director is working on scripts based on the life of Bangalore Nagarathnamma and Nadaprabhu Kempegowda

Filmmaker and theatre director TS Nagabharana looks at the lockdown as a time to follow up on his many projects. Nagabharana says being home-bound makes him restless as he likes to be immersed in work all the time. “A few months ago I directed a play based on Bangalore Nagarathnamma’s life, now I am working on the script for a feature film.” Nagabharana says he is working on the 18th draft of the script of Vidyasundari Bengaluru Nagarathnamma.

“I have many ideas that I had kept on the back-burner due to lack of time. Maybe this time, although unfortunate for the nation, will help me complete a few things that have been gathering dust both on book shelves and in my mind.”

Nagabharana was working on the Nagarathnamma project for four years. “Initially I thought of a feature film, when the idea of a play came up, I followed up on that as a way to spread awareness about Nagarathnamma’s values. I would like the film to reach every corner of the globe. This singer-dancer from the devadasi community worked tirelessly for the rights of women.”

Nagabharana says the film on Nagarathnamma will be in Kannada, Tamil and Telugu, and shooting will begin in the last quarter of 2020. The cast will be decided after the screenplay and dialogues are done. “The script is taking a long time because of the rigorous research involved.”

Apart from the film on Nagarathnamma, Nagabharana is using the lockdown to focus on his other pet project — a film on Nadaprabhu Kempegowda, who ruled most of the Karnataka during the Vijayanagara empire. “I have been working on a script for the last six years and the 23rd draft is ready. These weeks at home will give me the necessary time to wrap it up.”

Nagabharana has a research team to do the fact- checking. Well-known names including Pratibha Nandakumar, Sreedhar Murthy, Sreepathy Manjana Bailu and Harish meet virtually for discussions. “I am also in touch with Chidananada Murthy and Suresh Moona.”

Nagabharana has directed 36 Kannada films and more than 200 plays including Sangya Balya, Jokumaraswamy, Oedipus, Sattavara Neralu and Hayavadana. He has worked with leading theatre personalities including BV Karanth, Chandrashekhara Kambara and Girish Karnad.

Nagabharana says he is very particular about documenting his research. “For me everything has to be on record. I have the recordings of the discussions I had with Dr Rajkumar in 1993 for the film, Aakasmika and with his son, Shivarajkumar for Jenumada Jodi.

Nagabharana is known for his meticulous research and many drafts. For Allama (2017) based on the life of thinker Allama Prabhu, the 49th draft was used. “I am making the best use of my time at home for research and writing.

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 6:41:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/focusing-on-developing-pet-projects-ts-nagabharana/article31256727.ece

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